Diabetes Risk Increases In Families
According to research recently released by the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if they have a significant other with diabetes. In their study published on January 23rd in BMC Medicine, researchers reviewed over 75,000 cases in 6 prior studies, identifying a strong correlation between an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and couples lifestyles.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of blood sugar disease, affecting 90-95% of those that are afflicted with a blood sugar disease. Often associated with inactivity and unhealthy eating patterns, type 2 diabetes is not a condition that is contracted from one person by another, although lifestyle patterns may influence those at risk.
Upon review of the data, researchers concluded that the spouses of persons with type 2 diabetes were at a 26% increased risk of developing the condition themselves. Though there was not a direct cause and effect relationship, there was certainly a strong correlation. However, the researchers also concluded that diabetes is not something that is caught from others, but couples adopting similar lifestyles and habits may be at the heart of the correlation. Two theories were posited as to why this could be:
1) Like minded people seek each other out - healthy finds healthy, and vice versa
2) Couples adopt similar lifestyles - if one eats poorly and is inactive, it’s likely the other will do the same
The major takeaway from this study, however, was that non-affected individuals taking an active role in their partner’s diabetes management could help reduce both of their risks. Making positive lifestyle choices will help combat the effects of diabetes on afflicted persons, and simultaneously help healthy individuals prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in themselves.
Tips for Reducing Diabetes Risk
1) Maintain an active lifestyle
2) Adopt a health conscious diet
3) Monitor blood glucose levels
4) Schedule regular medical exams
Leading a healthy lifestyle and following the tips listed above will effectively help couples reduce the impact that their relationship and their lifestyle has on their risks for developing type 2 diabetes.